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Superconducting generators

  1. Nov 26, 2014 #1
    i believe that superconducting generators are now in use,We have hydropower plants in our country still using the conventional generators. My idea for my masters dessertation would to replace these generators with the superconducting ones, and hopefully get better efficiency.
    Would this make a good dessertation basis??? Or should i go for something else?? Your suggestions would be very welcomed. Thank u
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2014 #2


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    Superconducting generators are not really that much more efficient than conventional generators (which are already very efficient). The main advantage of SC generators is that they can be much smaller and lighter than a copper generator for the same power rating; this is why they might be very useful in places where there is a limited amount of space; for example on ships. Some companies are also trying to use them for wind turbines.
  4. Nov 26, 2014 #3


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    Seems thin for a master's thesis. What exactly would you need to investigate that you couldn't do in a weekend?

    Also, why limit it to hydro generators?
  5. Nov 26, 2014 #4
    yes. It rele wasn't the best idea, i could come up with. I am pressed for time(long story) and i need to come up with a topic and present it the day after.

    i wanted to go for a topic related to hydropower because its the only source of power generation in my country. Im from Bhutan. I thought whatever research i do might be actually useful in the future.

    is there any other topic that you could suggest?? It would be a great help. Thank you
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2014
  6. Nov 26, 2014 #5
    sir, could please suggest a better topic?? Some thing to do with increasing efficiency in hydropower generation. I need to get this in by Friday. It would be a great help.
  7. Nov 26, 2014 #6
    thank you for clearing that up. I read that superconductor generators may efficiency of almost about 100%. Where as with conventional ones we hv somewhere in 80s. If its true, and feasible for huge generations, i thought that would be a massive improvement.
  8. Nov 26, 2014 #7
    Well, very big synchronous generators are almost 99% efficient
  9. Nov 27, 2014 #8
    well, i have read that back in my country, Bhutan, the plants have efficiencies of about 83 to 87%. If replacing those generators by the superconducting generators could really get up the efficiency upto 95 plus. Do u think its worth a dessertation???
    also, i read that somewhere in the west they are actually building a hydropower plant with superconducting generators but its quite small scale, less than 200MW. The ones in Bhutan are well above that.
  10. Nov 27, 2014 #9
    The most efficient are large hydro electric power plants. IIRC, their max efficiency peaks about 93%. Improving generator's efficiency from 98% to near 100% won't improve overall efficiency much. This doesn't mean superconducting generators are not worth considerations! Tasks like reducing size,mass,and heating problems of big generators are very high on the priority list in power engineering.
  11. Nov 27, 2014 #10
    what is IIRC??? I googled it but couldnt get a satisfactory answer.
  12. Nov 27, 2014 #11
    I only know of a single 1.7MW unit HTS generator being made for a hydropower plant in Germany. What could be the reason why such superconducting generators not being employed in larger ones like a 100MW unit?
  13. Nov 27, 2014 #12

    Doug Huffman

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    Cost of retrofitting, and that greenies would obsolete renewable hydropower in favor of fishes.
  14. Nov 27, 2014 #13
    "If I recall correctly"
  15. Nov 27, 2014 #14
    I think you you are wrong.
  16. Nov 27, 2014 #15
    haha. I thought we were to use only standard acronyms.
    I actually came across an iirc in a small generator!
  17. Nov 27, 2014 #16
    This is a new technology using special solutions and materials. High Temperature Superconductivity still means temperatures must be kept well below -100 °C for such machines to work. Units for powers like 100 MW+ are serious things and such technology must be proven first in regard to high reliability.
  18. Nov 27, 2014 #17
    Then its definitely worth a dessertation???
  19. Nov 27, 2014 #18


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    in future ... don't start multiple threads on the same topic

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